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View Poll Results: Which side of the debate was the most persuasive?
Pro (telekinetic) 17 60.71%
Con (Willravel) 4 14.29%
Neither were persuasive enough to convince me 1 3.57%
Both did such a great job that I can't decide 6 21.43%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Debate #1: Firearms for Home and Self-Defense (Discussion)

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/tilted-...f-defense.html

Our first debate has concluded! Please read it by clicking the above link.

Everyone is welcome to discuss the debate here. Let us know what you think about the debaters' arguments and rebuttals.

How convincing were they?
What should they have (or have not) said instead? In addition?


Feel free to vote in the poll to let us know what you think. It's a public poll, as I think it will be interesting to discuss people's reactions and opinions of the debate as well. Remember: vote for who you think was most convincing/persuasive, rather than for where you stand on the issue.

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 06-18-2010 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Both people did so well I can't bring myself to decide!

Anyway, thanks to tele for a great debate and thanks for everyone that followed along. I think this could end up being a very fun pastime. It's certainly better than baseball.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Remember to vote on how convincing the argument was, not which side you're on.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasereth View Post
Remember to vote on how convincing the argument was, not which side you're on.
I didn't vote, because I find it easy to be convinced by the case I already believed in. It may be worth changing your poll for future to options like
  • "I was pro-gun before reading and I still am"
  • "I was pro-gun before reading but I was convinced by anti-gun"
  • etc.

Just my 2 cents worth from (mostly gun free) Australia.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spindles View Post
I didn't vote, because I find it easy to be convinced by the case I already believed in. It may be worth changing your poll for future to options like
  • "I was pro-gun before reading and I still am"
  • "I was pro-gun before reading but I was convinced by anti-gun"
  • etc.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think it will be a likely case where one of these debates will turn readers against a position they've already taken. I sincerely doubt that a 10- to 20-post debate on TFP will turn a gun advocate into an anti-gun protester.

I worded the poll to get a general sense from people how convincing the debaters were regardless of the reader's position. You can be pro-gun and think that Willravel was more convincing than telekinetic was. You can be anti-gun and think that telekinetic was more convincing than Willravel. But in either case, I don't think they will likely have turned people's beliefs. I'm not saying it's impossible; but that's not what we're trying to gauge here I don't think.

What I think is most interesting is knowing from readers who was the better debater regardless of where you stand on an issue. Although it's a challenge to be unbiased about these things when you have a strong position, I'd like people to try their best to judge the arguments rather than evaluate your own stance and reflect that in the polls.

You don't have to fully agree with either debater's arguments to think one is more convincing than the other.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I voted both. I really am not a good judge. I can't suppress my bias. I am pro-gun and while Will made very good arguments I think that better education(Both gun safety and classroom education) would lower his statistics.

All I know for sure is that armed, uniformed police officers don't get mugged that much. I'm assuming it's because they're packin heat.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I felt that telekinetic had a more convincing argument.

I think that Will backed his stance with too many broad statistics and a bit too much sensationalism, whereas tele backed his stance with a clear and concise argument that was hard to disagree with.

For the record, I do not have a solid stance as far as the pro/anti-gun issue, but do tend to lean toward the "anti" side.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That was a lot of fun. I knew from the outset that I was fighting a losing battle statistically speaking, so I was very careful to craft my opening post (and all subsequent ones) in a way to try to discredit or disempower any of the many arrays of damning statistics Willravel could bring to bear. I'm happy that it seems I was successful!

This is a well-trodden issue, particularly on the internet, and so I had a bit of an advantage that I already knew the general structure the 'con' was likely to take. However, my worthy opponent was able to add several new twists that had me saying "oh crap, I'm sunk now" at just about every turn. Because I was up against such a crafty adversary, I was very careful not to make any objective claims that could be disproved. All in all, I must say: Well played, will, well played.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telekinetic View Post
knew from the outset that I was fighting a losing battle statistically speaking...
This should gave been your opening argument!
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks to the both of you for debating this. It was certainly very interesting to read.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A very interesting read indeed.

I am under the impression that the topic at hand was approached from two very distinct sides; Will arguing with statistics that always show a general trend while telekinetic centered his arguments on the effect on one person alone.

These two approaches seem fundamentally different to me and so I very rapidly got the impression that the debate was stalled, each participant renewing its precedeing arguments.

Still I thank both of you for opening, what will hopefully become a regular event here on TFP.

Also as a reader from Europe I was very interested in the topic which leads me to make this response my first post here (after some time of lurking around)
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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that's great guys thank you very much!

Just so you know with the new chat software we can have moderated discussions as an option. This means, live debate as a possibility.

thank you again.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papounet View Post
I am under the impression that the topic at hand was approached from two very distinct sides; Will arguing with statistics that always show a general trend while telekinetic centered his arguments on the effect on one person alone.
Very good observation. As soon as I realized tele was going to argue from a combination of emotion and individualism, I realized I had to fall back on my particular strength, which is larger trends in society as a whole. Still, I hope it didn't come off as two different discussions going on at the same time. I tried to speak directly to tele's points and he did the same for me, despite coming at the topic from different directions.

The debate was interesting because, I think, both telekinetic and I both generally agreed with the cases we were making. It will be interesting as this feature evolves to see when people are asked to argue against themselves. I'd be excited to argue for economic imperialism or theocratic rule precisely because I so strongly disagree with them. It give the debater an opportunity to not only flex his or her skills but also to research things that they normally wouldn't, necessarily.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think Willravel did a better job in this debate. He brought a stronger logical and statistical argument to the table about guns and self defense. After reading the whole debate I think Will's argument is simply more convincing.

I'm pro-gun and will probably be purchasing a gun for home safety down the line. I haven't yet because my wife is anti-gun and I haven't convinced her yet. I think a gun should be in my home because of one of tele's debating points: the chance of finding yourself in a killer's path is very low, but the stakes are too high to not be prepared.

It was really hard to choose which debate was better. I had to go back over the thread a couple times honestly.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
The debate was interesting because, I think, both telekinetic and I both generally agreed with the cases we were making.
I almost asked you to switch sides with me for this reason, actually

I'm glad this idea got such a positive response...Let's do it again! As much as I want Will and I to get a chance to go again, I vote we start a signup sheet thread for people interested, so that Will and I aren't hogging all the fun, and another of topics.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq View Post
that's great guys thank you very much!

Just so you know with the new chat software we can have moderated discussions as an option. This means, live debate as a possibility.

thank you again.

Act now and we'll double the offer. That's two moderated discussions absolutely free with your patented video chat software!

/infomercial

I wanted to give myself some time to consider before voting, to make sure my own bias wasn't clouding my judgement; that said, after some deliberation I still have to award this one to willravel. His fact-based arguments backed by verifiable statistics appealed to my cold, dead, logical heart.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian View Post
I wanted to give myself some time to consider before voting, to make sure my own bias wasn't clouding my judgement; that said, after some deliberation I still have to award this one to willravel. His fact-based arguments backed by verifiable statistics appealed to my cold, dead, logical heart.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I voted for tele and agree with papounet's observation

Quote:
Originally Posted by papounet View Post
I am under the impression that the topic at hand was approached from two very distinct sides; Will arguing with statistics that always show a general trend while telekinetic centered his arguments on the effect on one person alone.
Telekinetic's arguments to me seemed more to address the perspective from a first person scenario, which is more persusasive to me, while Willravel's arguments were from the perspective of society in general I thought. For example, even though the likelihood of encountering a situation where lethal force is necessary is extremely small for most of us, as long as it's possible to happen to me then I feel the benefits of owning a firearm outweigh the risks, as they pertain to me as an individual. However, when looked at from society as a whole, I can agree that most people are probably better off without a firearm, as again the likelihood of needing to use lethal force is extremely small.

IMHO.

In any case, the debate was a great read and I look forward to the next one.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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the graph shown early in the debate had another country with a higher percentage than ours for guns in the house. however they seemed to be following a different violence curve. what use is that graph if it just proves that something else besides owning guns compels americans to kill each other. owning guns for self defense should be legal as there is very little correlation with violence to fellow human beings (according to that graph)
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